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Portsmouth Shipyard Celebrates

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard /

On August 24, 2005 the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard dodged a bullet. Members of the federal base closure committee voted NOT to keep the shipyard on its hit list. Despite the recommended Portsmouth closure by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, military experts suggested otherwise. Portsmouth, they said, is just to valuable and too effective to close. Click for our 200th anniversary gallery.


READ: A 200 year shipyard history

Since its opening the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has dedicated much of its attention to staying open. Again and again its closure has been suggested, but rejected. In August 2005 the "Save our Shipyard" activists were overjoyed to learn that the Kittery, Maine facility had been taken off the federal base closure list. That reminded us of some historic celebration photos in our archives.

Five years earlier, in the summer of 2000, attended the bicentennial celebration at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Times have changed. Since 9-11 the base has been largely off limits to visitors for security reasons. That’s sad, since this is more than a naval shipyard. It is also an historic location with some fascinating maritime heritage sites. Most cannot be seen easily by the public today, including a rarely opened maritime history museum.

The bicentennial, by contrast, was a festive occasion with bands and beer, parades and submarine tours. Established in the year 1800 on a cluster of islands in the Piscataqua River, the shipyard was recently called the "gold standard" for American shipyards. In memory of the bicentennial, and in celebration of the BRAC decision not to close the Yard – we offer these archived pictures. -- JDR

SEE: Early postcards of the navy yard

Place mouse over pictures for captions

Re-enactors on base at the SHipyard bicentennial in summer 2005 /

Shipyard workers pass the

The Squalus Memorial honoring the 1939 submarine tragedy /

Among dozens of weekend events was the ceremonial bell tolling service at the old cemetery. This contemplative moment took place just prior to the event.

Shipyard museum director Jim Dolph in front of a model of the USS Albacore /

Ice cold beer at the Shipyard celebration in 2000 /

CONTINUE to sec.ond page of SHIPYARD images

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018 
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